Your engine’s timing belt is extremely important to the basic functionality of your motor and is critical to the synchronization of the internal parts. You should replace your timing belt every 60,000 miles as part of a regular car maintenance schedule. Replacing your timing belt is a highly complicated process that leaves a lot of room for mistakes that cause massive engine damage. Big Jim’s Automotive can save you many headaches down the road with expert car maintenance and repairs. Call us for help if you suspect a timing belt failure or if it’s time to replace it. There are four very good reasons you should never replace a timing belt yourself.


1. Not Knowing Your Engine Mechanisms

There are two types of engine configurations: interference, and non-interference. Most are interference type setups that utilize the same physical space for valve and piston strokes. This means when the timing belt is improper, the piston and valves will smash into each other. Regardless of the interference, all vehicles have a timing mechanism. A majority are standard belts, however, some manufacturers have begun using timing chains. The longevity and maintenance schedules are very different between the two types, so it’s important to be knowledgeable about your engine.


2. Potential Valve Damage

The most common problem that can arise from a timing belt failure is damage to your engine valves. Even with non-interference engines, a bad timing belt can bend the valves. With interference systems, you are looking at a more significant damage potential. Avoid costly valve replacement and leave timing belt repair to the pros.


3. Cylinder Head, Camshaft, and Piston Damage

A broken or improper timing belt can also cause physical damage to the cylinder head, body, camshaft, and pistons. Engine performance is easily compromised when you have multiple significant components involved. Replacing many parts due to a timing belt can quickly add up in repair and replacement costs. An engine repair specialist is your best bet to safeguard you from exponential replacement expenses.


4. Complete Engine Failure

When you replace your timing belt, you increase the likelihood of setting off a chain reaction leading to your engine failing completely. There are many factors that can contribute to more damage such as the number of parts, tools, and precision necessary to do the job properly. A timing belt going bad can squeak, chirp, or have no warning at all. When the timing is off just slightly, it can cause the pistons to slam into the valves and cause damage to all crucial engine components. The only way to mitigate these risks of total engine destruction is to ensure you have a skilled mechanic perform timing belt maintenance or repairs.


Auto Repair Services in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Big Jim’s Auto is a family-owned auto repair shop with comprehensive services to the Cedar Rapids metro area. A leader in the industry, we commit to providing the highest standard of auto services and customer care. Our skilled mechanics do everything from routine car maintenance to complex repairs. Call us today at 319-261-0999, or you can message us on our contact page.